9 Jan 2019
Nearly twenty years ago while stacking up old newspapers in the kitchen I came across a picture of a dead dog lying on its side. The caption read that 50 people chased it down the streets with sticks and rods, and beat the black dog, suspected of having rabies, to death.
I felt the fear of being chased & the pain of being beaten when I looked at the matted & wet fur of the dead canine. A combination of factors such as self preservation instincts, unresolved personal problems and a mob mentality could have been the trigger for 50 humans to deal so cruelly with 1 defenseless and sick dog.
That episode in Thailand was the start of my interest in keeping press cuttings on animal news. The constant collection also evolved into a habit of putting bad news next to good ones to provide some form of mental & emotional balance for myself. It also creates some degree of objectivity when looking at the community where the news emerge.
In 2011 in Nepal, I befriended a black dog called Kali. She lives on the pavement along Hotel Harati in Thamel and is being cared for by Jamuna, the tea seller. I saw Kali again in 2013, 2014 and 2016 when I visited Nepal. She has survived the 2015 earthquake so I hope she’s still going strong.
Humans have all kinds of misgivings against the colour black, often forgetting that black is the most generous of all colours. Black allows other colours to come forth and shine while remaining in the background. Black comes to our aid when we need to hide a mistake so that we can start afresh.
Recently Ron kept a copy of the Bangkok Post dated 16 November 2018 for me. It featured a picture of Thai rescued dogs greeting visitors in a state-run dog shelter in Uthai Thani. This wouldn’t be possible 20 years ago. May all dogs in this centre be well treated.
I think of “my first” black dog that was beaten to death. Had he or she been born at a later time, the end might not be so tragic.
So in the spirit of the many Blessed Blacks that I have met, and the improvements in street dog welfare I’ve seen, I would like to name my Thai black canine from 20 years ago, Tara.
Tara is the name of the Goddess of Compassion. The stately guard dog of Street Dog Care that we met recently was also named after her.
And may the bestowing of auspicious names on all sentient beings that have suffered, release them from fear and pain, and fill them with peace & forgiveness. 🙏